Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Trans People
Sheffield DACT has been set up with the aim of supporting people experiencing abuse in same-sex relationships and LGBT+ people (Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans and other minority sexuality and/or genders) experiencing abuse from people close to them.
Levels of domestic abuse in the relationships of lesbian and bisexual women are similar to those experienced by heterosexual women, which means that one in four experience abuse in their lifetimes. Almost half (49%) of all gay and bi men have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse from a family member or partner since the age of 16, and 80% of trans people have experienced emotional, sexual or physical abuse from a partner of ex-partner. LGBT+ people can also be abused by former heterosexual partners or by family members, who may take issue with your sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Domestic abuse is a pattern of control over a ‘loved one’ regardless of the gender identity or sexual orientation of either partner and is explained in detail in Understanding Domestic Abuse.
As well as the common abusive behaviours mentioned elsewhere on the site, as an LGBT+ person you may experience additional abuse specifically because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. This can include your partner:
- saying you deserve the abuse because you are lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans
- threatening to ‘out’ you to work colleagues or family
- preventing you from living openly yourself when you are comfortable with your sexuality
- saying the abuse is a normal part of LGBT+ relationships
- saying the abuse is a ‘mutual’, two-way thing
Nobody has the right to hurt you or make you feel bad about your sexuality.
Sometimes LGBT+ people find it harder to seek help:
- perhaps you feel uncomfortable about ‘outing’ yourself to disclose the abuse
- you might worry that workers will be unsympathetic because you are in a same sex relationship or make judgements about you or your relationship
- you might also feel that a refuge would be a homophobic environment because of other residents or that they are only for women.
Refuges in Sheffield work hard to promote mutually supportive environments and have housed many gay and bisexual women in the past. Homophobia (or any other discrimination) is never tolerated and residents are more likely to support others in the refuge, regardless of their background. There are no refuge spaces for men in Sheffield but a few are available in the UK, and the Sheffield DACT helpline can find out if these spaces are available.
The Council may have a duty to provide safe, accommodation if you are at risk of domestic abuse in your current home. You are entitled to the same legal protection whatever your (or your partner’s) gender or sexual orientation. The UK Government defines domestic abuse as ‘any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality’.
Sheffield DACT Helpline: 0808 808 2241
The National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline: Call: 0800 999 5428. email: firstname.lastname@example.org
GALOP offers support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic abuse.
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327
Confidential national helpline for men experiencing abuse in heterosexual or same-sex relationships
SAYiT: 0114 241 2728
Social support for youjng LGBT+ people in Sheffield
Sexual Health Sheffield: 0114 226 8888
Respect Phoneline: 0808 802 4040
National phoneline for men who want to stop abusing their partners. – Helpline (Monday – Friday 9am-5pm)
Forced Marriage Unit: 020 7008 0151
Resources for people at risk of forced marriage